4 Days Left To Buy Health Insurance! 5 Facts You Need To Know To Finish Strong

The end of the Open Enrollment race - crossing the finish line

With only 4 days left in the 2015 Open Enrollment cycle the pace of calls into our offices has increased dramatically.  New clients and old friends that have never emailed or called us back suddenly want to talk about health insurance!  In order to help you in the final stressful days we wanted to provide you some key pieces of information to help you get your enrollment completed and finish this Open Enrollment marathon!

5) - Complete Your Application By 2/15/15

The deadline for submission of your application is in the evening of 2/15/15.  This coverage will begin March 1, 2015. I wouldn't wait until midnight to get the application completed using an agent or working with the healthcare marketplace.  Contact Us today to get started!

4) - Tax Penalties Are Doubling If You Don't Own An ACA Plan

The government has increased the financial pain for non-compliance this year as they are trying to make US consumers purchase health insurance.  In 2014 the penalty for not owning a qualified ACA plan was 1% of your household income.  Now, the penalty will increase to 2%.  The tax penalty will reduce your tax refund or will add to your tax bill when you file.  Remember, if you did receive a subsidy you must now file an income tax return and also complete a few more forms this year.  Contact your accountant to ensure you get everything squared away by 4/15.

3) -Make Your Choice Count, You'll Be Stuck For A Year

The Plan You Have on 3/1/15 will be the plan that you keep for the remainder of 2015.  If you find during the middle of the year that you do not like your current plan, unfortunately you are stuck.  Once 3/1/15 passes you are locked into the health plan you've selected and will need to wait till next year's Open Enrollment Period that starts in November to choose a new plan that will begin in 2016.  The inability to move plans is a huge weakness in the ACA in our opinion.

2)  Pay Your Premiums and Get on Auto Draft

We are unfortunately seeing a troubling trend where clients have requested to have bills sent to them via email or paper and then they have forgotten to pay for their health insurance.  The truth is, we are all so busy, and we just miss a reminder and get behind.  The health insurance companies are no longer allowing clients to have long grace periods and they are quickly terminating coverage for non-payment.  Additionally, if you haven't paid your premiums and need to go to a doctor, the physician's offices will be told you don't have coverage if you are late in paying your premium for that month.  Our experience suggests that you should sign up for auto-pay where the payments are drafted from your bank account so that you don't lapse coverage and are not refused services because you've failed to pay your premiums.

1) - Life Changes Allow For Policy Changes!

Bullet #4 above says that once you choose a plan you are stuck in the plan and that is correct, unless you have a significant life change like getting married, adopting or having a baby, or losing other coverage.  If those triggering events happen to you, you may select a new Affordable Care Act policy that fits your needs.  Often times the coverage can start on the date of the triggering event, so make sure to call us if you have questions at 713-422-2935. 

You still have time to review your options and make plan selections to avoid tax penalties and the real risk of not having health insurance.  If you want to discuss financial subsidies, specific plans, and your situation, please call us at 713-422-2935 or go directly to our quoting portal.  You'll be able to gather information about prices for free and you'll be able to take steps to get insured for the 2015 calendar year.  Click Get A Quote Now! to check out your options.


Jason Bohmann
Texas Health Design